New Orleans Police Department ignored and and mischaracterized evidence as well as consistently misstated witnesses accounts – according to the New Orleans Independent Police Monitor – to clear an officer who later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is currently serving a four year prison term.
Former NOPD Officer Joshua Colclough shot and killed Wendell Allen, 20, in March of 2012.
Raiding Allen turned up approximately five ounces of marijuana.
The 34-page report, obtained by NOLA.com calls for an investigation into the officers who gave statements that were contradicted by the newly released body camera footage as well as into possible misconduct by Sergeant Bruce Glaudi who lead the investigation. The body camera was not department issued and was a personal camera owned by one of the officers.
The body cam was turned on just seven seconds before they entered the residence.
“Key video evidence was not initially collected; a witness’ statement was omitted from (the) final supplemental report; video of the incident, gunshot residue-test results and witnesses’ statements were misinterpreted; allegations were misstated during a witness interview; and the investigation stopped short of necessary follow-up,” the report stated.
Initially the existence of the video was ignored completely by Glaudi – according to the report – and when it could no longer be ignored, the cop dragged his feet admitting it.
The New Orleans Police Independent Monitor also questions the legitimacy of the warrant which authorized the raid.
They further noted that video from a personal body camera that an officer was wearing showed that the NOPD officers didn’t announce themselves before battering down the front door or provide warning or time for Allen to comply before shooting the unarmed man in the chest.
“Recent protests in other cities demonstrate the destructive impact of a police department’s to rein in the use, especially on unarmed subjects, of police deadly force,” the monitor’s report states. “While the New Orleans Police Department… must maintain officer safety, if communities in New Orleans cannot trust the NOPD to institute and follow policies that establish community safety as a priority, then the officers are less safe as a result.”
The monitor particularly called into question why the officers were performing a no-knock raid on a home that they knew children were present in. Ages of children inside the home during the raid ranged from 1-year-old to 14-years-old.
It details how New Orleans PD officer Glaudi deliberately ignored logical inconsistencies in testimonies from children who witnessed the shooting, and completely misstated what the 8-year-old and 14-year-old witnesses detailed.
According to the Independent Monitor, the New Orleans Police Department “searched only for and interpreted evidence in ways that confirmed their preconceptions of preexisting beliefs.”
NOPD naturally, stands by their investigation and their officers.
“Following a comprehensive internal investigation, the officer accepted responsibility for his error in judgement and was criminally prosecuted. Three years later, we have implemented significant reforms to improve training, supervision and resources for our officers, including the implementation of body worn cameras,” NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said in a statement regarding the report.
Disgraced former NOPD officer Colclough is currently serving his prison sentence after pleading guilty, but will be seeking a reduction in his sentence this week.
The family of Allen is also currently in negotiations for a settlement in their federal lawsuit against the New Orleans PD.
Once again, cops kill someone, pretend that all civil rights are non-existent, then tax payers foot the bill.
Too bad tax money can’t bring back Wendell Allen.